Not All Students Feel Safe

"The Last Lockdown" via The scene appears in sculptures produced with the help of Manuel Oliver, an artist who lost his 17-year-old son in the Parkland, Florida mass shooting.

Jessicka Alvarado, Staff Writer

Saying goodbye to their parents in the morning when heading to school might not be a big deal to some students. But what if that was the last goodbye? What if they never returned home? 

School shootings are a topic of concern to today’s students. Some students feel there is a need for more security, and higher measures are needed to improve school safety. 

According to, in 2018 there were 97 gun violence incidents in schools. Fifty-six people were killed in these shootings.

Many students at Westhampton Beach High School don’t feel safe, but a majority of them don’t take lockdown drills seriously. 

Sophomore Kaan Ozdemir says security guards should monitor the whole school and not just the hallways. He said, “Classrooms aren’t always really monitored.”  However, teachers now are required to lock and close the doors while teaching, and the telephone is always available for anyone to use in case of an emergency.

WHB sophomore Valerie Finke says she doesn’t necessarily feel unsafe in school but she does think we should have different drills. She added, “If an event like this was to occur, students wouldn’t really stay in a corner; they would be jumping out of windows and trying to get away.”  

Some students at WHB feel safe but sophomore Emmalyn Cancellire, says she does not feel safe in school.  She explained, “Not every exit of the school is been watched; another student could easily open the door for someone dangerous.”

She believes more security guards would be good for her to feel that she is in a safer environment. 

School Resource Officer Andrew Kirwin has been at WHB high school since the beginning of last school year. He is here to make the environment for students safer.

No one knows when an event like this might happen that is why we do lockdown drills. Officer Kirwin knows that some students at WHB don’t take lockdown drills seriously. It’s not something to joke around especially when you are not the only one in the classroom. 

Officer Kirwin said, “You should not be putting yourself and the other people that are with you in danger.  If a serious situation were to happen, everyone needs to follow the rules and listen to the person in charge.”

He added, “If a student doesn’t feel safe, that is why I am here and will help in any way possible in any of these situations.” 

Students need to understand that when we do these drills we have to be serious and mature. No one ever knows if this will ever happen that is why we do drills that could save our lives and the lives around us. If you are concerned about something you should reach out to Officer Kirwin, because he is here to help.